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Man reunited with long-lost dog in Nash County

Posted May 31

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— Richard Rewalt was driving with his dog, Maggie, from Florida to Maryland on May 15, 2013 when he passed out at a rest stop in Nash County.

Onlookers insisted he receive medical attention and said they'd call animal control to look after his dog.

Two hours later, when Rewalt was ready to retrieve his dog, Maggie was gone.

“I went over to the dog rescue and he told me their story and he said, “But we don’t know where she is,” Rewalt said..

Rewalt searched for Maggie, posted flyers but eventually had to continue on toward Maryland.

Maggie was eventually spotted, but she wouldn’t let people get close enough to catch her.
As Maggie roamed the woods off U.S. Highway 64, Donna Ritterpusch set out food and kept a close eye on the dog with her two night vision cameras.

“We tried trapping her, camouflaged it all sorts of ways,” Ritterpusch said. “Steak bones, but she outsmarted it. I have her on the camera circling it.

“It might be a couple of months where I lose track of her, but that resident that would give me a phone call started it back up again.”

Eventually Maggie became comfortable enough with a family’s dog, which prompted Rewalt to make the drive down and try his luck on May 25, 2016.

“When she came over and licked my right hand it’s like somebody threw a switch and she started jumping and dancing,” Rewalt said.

Maggie was checked out at the veterinarian and has a clean bill of health.

Ritterpusch said it's a bittersweet situation as she'll miss the dog she took care of in the woods for three years.

“One of my coworkers asked me how it feels when you drive around and look at the woods,” Ritterpusch said. “I said the woods don’t feel the same.”


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